April 4, 2024
Half-baked plan from Stephen Donnelly lacks urgency and ambition for UHL – Maurice Quinlivan TD

Sinn Féin TD for Limerick City, Maurice Quinlivan, has criticised the Health Minister’s remarks during a visit to University Hospital Limerick, warning that his pledges fall far short of what is needed. 

Teachta Quinlivan said:

“The people of Limerick needed to see an ambitious plan, with a timeline for delivery and a sense of urgency. Instead, what we’ve seen from Minister Donnelly is a half-baked pledge which falls far short of the change that is needed. His comments are piecemeal, temporary and incoherent. 

“Sinn Féin have been demanding change at University Hospital Limerick for years. Just yesterday, Party President Mary Lou McDonald, visited Limerick and together we heard heartbreaking stories from patients and families we met who have been badly let down and feel abandoned by the government.

“After dragging his heels and ignoring the issue for years, the Minister has announced now that he will fast-track just 16 beds, which will never get ahead of the problem. UHL needs 230 beds right now. A Sinn Féin government would invest in 288 beds to get ahead of a growing population and tackle overcrowding.

“Another crucial aspect of this is that the hospital needs to be able to separate scheduled care from emergency care and needs an elective centre. 

“The solution is not just beds in the main hospital. We need to move the health service to joined up planning across primary, community, and hospital care. It needs to be supported by consistent out-of-hours GP and late pharmacies. We need to directly hire GPs where services are struggling. We need to train more GPs and expand multi-disciplinary primary care teams, including more nurses, working in communities. The hospital needs access to step-down and nursing home beds so people can be discharged and cared for closer to home. 

 “I will continue to fight for the people of Limerick and everyone in the Midwest region who rely on this hospital. Patients and their families should have confidence that they will receive quality healthcare when they need it. 

“I will hold the Minister to account and continue to raise this with him until a proper plan is in place and genuine change is delivered at UHL.” 

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